MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico has a “serious problem” with disappearances and lacks a comprehensive national list of the missing to effectively deal with the problem, according to a report the country’s National Human Rights Commission will present Monday to the UN.
Commission chairman Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez will ask the United Nations Committee On Enforced Disappearances in Geneva to make several recommendations to Mexico’s government on the issue, said the document, which The Associated Press was allowed to see.
According to the latest official figures, there are 23,271 people missing or not located in Mexico, of which 621 are being sought by the federal Attorney General’s Office’s Search Unit. The numbers were provided by the office’s general prosecutor for human rights, Eliana Garcia, on Jan 19 to a forum in the Chamber of Deputies.
But in its report, the human rights commission says there are no clear criteria for establishing how many people are missing and stresses that the “impunity” surrounding forced disappearances in the 1970s and 1980s created the conditions for the crime to continue being committed today, as can be seen with the 43 students who disappeared in September in southern Guerrero state.
Gonzalez Perez said officials needs to systemise and debug various existing databases because there is no “effective, comprehensive and transparent national” registry that would allow officials to know the real number of people who have disappeared in Mexico.
The commission will ask that authorities in Mexico continue the search for clandestine graves, identify the bodies found in them and create a unified system for building a reliable national list of the disappeared with a genetic registry. It will also call on lawmakers to complete pending legislation related to the National Registry of the Disappeared or Missing Persons and the law on forced disappearances.